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Dog Fight

Posted Friday, October 26, 2012, at 8:19 PM

Honey Girl loved the wind. It blew straight and hard from the west. With it the leaves danced everywhere. She leaped into the air, snatching leaves--showing off for her mother. Mom was on the sun porch laughing at her antics. However, she wasn't happy about the yapping fly she was stroking. He was a tiny, noisy parasite!

He was staying with them while his momma took his mate to the dog show. He had won last year and already had enough points to skip this level. He loved getting all the attention from his special Aunt. That person, however, belongs to her!

He loved staying with his Aunt. He especially loved looking out all the windows and rubbing it in over the huge monster they called a dog that lived outside. He would sit up on the back of the couch and look through the window just to taunt her. He might only be big enough for one bite for her, but he was inside and she was out in the wind.

The wind gusted as he watched out the windows, blowing everything in sight. He saw the monster sitting near the gate; with leaves blowing everywhere, trash cans rolling in the alley nearby was too much excitement. A strong gust ripped the gate open and the monster was freed.

Barking excitedly he drew his Aunt to the windows. She came onto the sun porch telling him to hush and saw the monster running free, leaping the low chain link fence as she headed after a bothersome trash barrel. Aunt rushed to the front door, snatching the monsters leash as she went out the front and storm doors.

A gust of wind caught the storm door as Aunt opened it, shattering the glass section. Aunt screamed as she ran through the broken shards of glass and down the steps. The monster heard her scream and came racing toward her. He was terrified that the monster would devour his Aunt. Without thought he leaped through the broken door, narrowly missing one large shard still in the door and raced to his Aunt. He was small, but he had a fierce heart. He would not let the monster hurt his Aunt. With all the determination of his eight pound body he hurled himself into the monster snapping with his teeth determined to rip the monster into shreds.

She was as free as the wind, leaping the low fence, chasing down that irksome trash barrel that had been banging into things in the alley. She had no more than turned the corner when she heard her mother scream and the sound of something breaking. Turning, she instantly ran back to rescue her from whatever was causing her distress. To her dismay, mom was running barefoot through broken glass toward her with the visiting rat hard on her tail. He was barking and snarling. She would not let him hurt her mom. She would rip him apart like a chicken wing and spit out the bones.

Thank God, she is coming to me, thought the woman as she ran down the steps through the glass shards. She had to be careful since there had been no time to find shoes. Her instinct kicked in as she ran to catch her dog. All they needed was one more complaint from the neighbor across the alley.

As she glanced over her shoulder, she saw the terrier leap through the broken window of the storm door, nearly impaling himself in the process. Donna would be devastated if anything happened to him. He was supposed to show at the state finals in just two weeks.

Turning quickly she grabbed him before he could get out of the yard. At the same moment, Honey Girl leaped the fence coming back to her. He was barking furiously--his tiny body vibrating with the depth of his growls and snapping. Honey Girl lunged at him. One snap with her iron jaws could rip him apart. She had to keep them apart!

She held him tightly against her as he struggled to free himself. He knew the monster was going to hurt her. It was his job to protect her from the monster.

Who did this idiot think he was? Staying in her house; torturing her through the windows; and now yapping at her to stay away! The woman was HERS! HER MOM! Who did he think he was telling her to stay away? She would teach him who was boss--and she lunged for his throat!

Stop! Stop! Please stop your fighting she cried as she desperately tried to hold one and grab the collar of the other. She couldn't hold him. He was going to be mauled. If he would just hush, she could grab Honey Girl and get the leash on her.

She dropped him and grabbed him again as she struggled to get the leash on Honey Girl--who was in pure protect mode. She didn't understand he thought he was protecting her. As he slipped out of her arms, he threw himself at Honey Girl. She tackled him, curling her body around him, rolling through the broken glass on the sidewalk. Shards imbedded themselves in her legs and feet, but she had to keep the dogs apart.

Leave her alone! I'll snatch your fur off if you even touch her. MONSTER!

That's my mom you overgrown rat! UNHAND HER before I chew you up and spit you out.



"Dear God, help me get control of these dogs. They each think they are protecting me from the other." Jaws snapped all around her, but she managed to keep to two from connecting with each other. Just as she thought she could not hold them apart any longer, her husband came running down the sidewalk, through the chain fence gate and grabbed the leash--and Honey Girl. He pulled her to the side yard, put her in the kennel and then shut the wooden gate as well.

Hurrying back to his wife, he took the terrier back to the porch. Seeing blood all over his wife's legs and feet he checked him for wounds. Miraculously there were none. He put him in the pet carrier and rushed back to his wife.

She was shaking. Tears streamed down her faces. "Is he hurt?" she asked. He shook his head no. "What about Honey Girl? The wind caught the door and we rolled through the glass a few times." He told her she was fine, but to sit still and not move while he got what he needed to remove the glass from her bleeding legs and feet.

Eventually all the glass shards were removed. He washed all the blood away and bandaged her feet. They had been damaged the worst. He swept up the broken glass and helped her into the house, via the side yard. She sat on the back stoop for a few minutes with Honey Girl at her side. "I know you were trying to protect me my sweet girl, but so was he." She rubbed her ears and strong body as she whispered, "Fighting over me only hurt me more." As her tears washed the fear away, the dog licked her and cuddled into her, secure in the love and forgiveness of her mother.

God, do you ever get tired of us when we fight over you? One says you are this; another says you are that; a third has another perspective; a fourth doesn't even believe in you. None of us see with absolute clarity, but we fight and fight and fight to make others see you "our way." God there must be times when you want to scream, "STOP," and yet you don't. Instead you love us; whisper to us; place thoughts in our hearts and minds, people and lessons in our paths--all in order that we might seek you. When we turn our hearts to you, you teach us to love--like you love. Forgive us, God. Help us to learn to love rather than fight; to seek unity instead of hate; to live with compassion rather than disregard. Teach us to act justly; to love mercy; and to walk humbly with you God. So be it. Amen.

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From My Heart to Yours
Rayla Stewart Hogue
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Rayla Stewart Hogue is a native of Dexter. She is a wife, mother, and minister of the UCC (United Church of Christ). She seeks to recognize and embrace the unending hues of God's ethne and religion, and commits herself to living and expressing this inclusive diversity through Sacrament and the spoken, written, and sung Word of God.
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